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Seeking an edge in the crowded GOP field, Carly Fiorina seizes on gender controversies

Welcome to Trail Guide, your daily tour along the road to the White House. Here's what we're watching on Sunday, Aug. 9:

Seeking an edge in the crowded GOP field, Carly Fiorina seizes on gender controversies

 (David Goldman / Associated Press)

(David Goldman / Associated Press)

Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina bristles at the suggestion that she gets any special treatment as the sole woman among the 17 Republicans running for president. But at the same time, as she seeks to shore up support in the polls, she has made a point of vocally wading into GOP gender controversies.

Fiorina was among the first candidates to criticize Donald Trump over his attacks against Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after their testy exchanges in last week's debate. It was the second time in recent days that Fiorina, whose poor polling numbers left her out of the prime-time debate, has seized upon a gender-based controversy as she tries to raise her profile.

Read more of this report from The Times' Seema Mehta.

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Rubio doesn't want campaign 'consumed' by Trump

Sound bite Sunday: Donald Trump talks Megyn Kelly

 (Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)

(Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)

Donald Trump made the rounds Sunday, appearing on several political talk shows where he discussed fallout over his comments about Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly.

After Kelly asked pointed questions during Thursday's debate about the billionaire's past rhetoric toward women, Trump criticized her as unfairly targeting him.

"She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump said. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base."

Those comments about "blood coming out of her wherever" have drawn intense scorn from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Trump addressed the criticism on Sunday and did not offer any apologies.

I'm a smart person. I built a tremendous company. I had a show called 'The Apprentice' that NBC desperately wanted me to do another season. OK. I do all this stuff. Do you think I make a stupid statement like that? Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about it.
Trump on CNN's "State of the Union," when asked whether he was referring to Kelly being on her menstrual cycle
She was very angry because I brought up something that got the loudest applause of the day by far. And it really interrupted her when she did the question.
Trump on NBC's "Meet the Press," about his Rosie O'Donnell zinger during the debate when questioned about past comments toward women.
I will be phenomenal to the women. I want to help women.
Trump on CBS' "Face the Nation," talking about female voters
When I make a statement like I did about Megyn, and I have nothing against Megyn Kelly, honestly. I have nothing against her. I thought her questions were unfair; I thought her questions were very rough.
Trump on "Meet the Press"

I was especially disappointed because on criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism there is no other candidate for president who will fight harder than me.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Black Lives Matter demonstrators who interrupted his rally in Seattle on Saturday

GOP offers pushback against Trump for comments about Megyn Kelly

 (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

For weeks, many Republicans have grudgingly tolerated Donald Trump as he steamrolled through the early stages of the presidential race. Others, including some of his rivals for the nomination, publicly said they welcomed his no-holds-barred approach to a political system they felt needed a jolt.

But since Thursday night's prime-time debate, Trump's hostile reaction to challenging questions about his treatment of women appears to have increased the number of voices within the Republican Party who would like him to abandon his presidential run.

A prominent conservative and other candidates seeking the GOP nomination piled on Saturday, calling for Trump, the front-runner in a 17-candidate field, to disavow his attacks on popular Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Read more of Michael A. Memoli's report from Atlanta where conservatives congregated for the RedState Gathering.

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